So you can use the active duty records. VA announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a 246 square-mile Marine Corps base opened in 1941. As the consequences of this pandemic continue to impact nearly every aspect of our lives, we want to assure you we are committed to providing uninterrupted service to our clients regarding all aspects of their case. on Investigations & Oversight of the H. Comm. Christian: That’s the effect of the effective date. Read about the types of service that may have resulted in exposure to certain hazards. Yeah. His firm, Marc Whitehead & Associates files applications and appeals denials for Long-Term Disability insurance He did not feel the effects for years until, in 2010, he thought he had kidney stones. Absolutely. This was the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (Camp Lejeune Act). Social Security Disability Denial Attorneys - Texas Disability Law Firm. Marc Whitehead & Associates, LLP remains open to service our clients and accept new matters during the Coronavirus Pandemic. And then an actual nexus or connection between the two, which is usually medical evidence. WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Which like you’re going to talk more about the disability benefits. I don’t think, I haven’t particularly, I don’t know of anything like on the, on the horizon that would change the presumptive conditions. So Camp Lejeune is a military base. So we’re not going to get into the level of compensation you can get cause all of these disabilities would be rated a bit differently. As a Veteran, you may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service. Family members similarly exposed also became eligible for many of these benefits. We want to emphasize the strength of your claim can hinge on evidence and statements supporting the level of exposure to the bad water. Copyright © 2020 Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.All Rights Reserved. I was surprised that you don’t actually fax it to the evidence intake center. So what are the presumptive conditions? These claims are likely based on past laws. 8 Presumptive Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA has established a list of eight presumptive conditions for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987: Is there credible medical opinion to confirm that the veteran’s 29-day degree of risk was as high as others on the base who were there the required 30 days? Nearly half of these Lejeune veterans are now deceased. [laughing] Do you want to just go through a little bit of the history of what happened at that particular in that particular area? Many accounts portray entire families stricken with some kind of illness, while others portray veterans who had good health for many years, until a disease linked to their Lejeune service surfaced and made them sick. Christian: It’s a little different than how a lot of other sorts of contaminants are or other ways that veterans families might have been exposed to these things that they dealt with it. Especially, you don’t often see family members also were considered right away too. What Benefits and Services Are Available for Veterans with PTSD? But if you filed a claim before March 2017, you can still get a service connection for these conditions. VA currently offers two separate benefits to all qualifying veterans, and certain family members, who served at Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days (cumulative) from 1953 through 1987. Veterans must have served at least 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) at the base. The VA website recognizes veterans who served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River for 30 cumulative days from August 1953 … The contamination occurred back in a time when federal law did not limit toxins in drinking water. So that’s something to be very mindful of when you are submitting it that your husband or your father or you know, whoever it might’ve been that was the veteran might be submitting their claim and their benefits to be a regional offices in the evidence intake center. Hopefully one day the list of 8 will grow to include all 15 conditions. So, whereas family members can only get healthcare benefits. Provision of was it March 2017. According to a 4/28/2018 report in the New Bern, North Carolina Sun Journal, “Since March 2017, the VA has granted 4,568 veterans a service connection for a presumptive condition, while another 876 veterans were ruled eligible for a condition not among the eight conditions. So basically, what this means is that anyone who was working and living on the base who was drinking water, who was bathing, washing dishes, swimming, et cetera with water contaminated there. It doesn’t mean that your condition isn’t going to be something that views award. The water contamination was determined to be a result of on-base industrial activities and an off-base dry cleaning facility. For example, a former servicemember who served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for at least 30 days may automatically qualify for disability compensation from the VA. So I think when you’re talking about, now you’re getting ready to file what do you need? So I’ll start with a longer period. But I mean looking at Agent Orange the presumptive conditions that have been, you know, added to the books over all the years since Vietnam have increased. He has authored books on each of these topics and Log In. Active duty, reserve, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, N.C. for a minimum of 30 days … Michelle: Yeah, I think it’s very unique to see them first come out with healthcare benefits. This website adheres to the W3C’s AA Accessibility guidelines. The following fifteen conditions qualify for health care/medical benefits. Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between the mid-1950s and mid-1980s may qualify for disability benefits or an increased disability rating under a new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule. on Science & Technology, 111th Cong. See more of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination on Facebook. But for family members, there are a few things that they require. From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. There were TCEs which is Trichloroethylene, Benzene. So that’s really, that’s really great advice. Countless stories, complaints, and lawsuits ensued from veterans and their loved ones who, years after their time at Camp Lejeune, had developed devastating cancers and diseases. So out of pocket expenses, you’re paying for healthcare is actually August 2012. The VA has enacted special provisions for obtaining disability compensation for exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water. The area included in the presumption is all of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, including satellite camps and housing areas. There’s, there’s a, there’s a biological chemical medical link between the exposures and the condition. This is what we know now. So in 2012, Congress passed the Honoring Faith America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. It’s a financial services centered in Austin, Texas. For more than two decades, the Navy and Marine Corps have supported and assisted the study of possible impacts of water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. CAMP LEJEUNE: PAST WATER CONTAMINATION From the 1950s through the 1980s, people serving or living at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. The lists aren’t both exactly the same. If you served at Camp Lejeune but do not qualify for a presumptive condition for disability compensation, there are other routes to getting benefits. VA will now pay disability compensation in addition to providing medical care to those affected by water contamination at camp VA Now Paying … If you were exposed to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and are suffering from one or more of the associated health conditions, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you receive the VA disability benefits you deserve. Now it’s cumulative. Were you stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987? Attention Camp Lejeune veterans and families: If you’ve been watching our blog, you know we have been keeping up to date on the proposed VA rules to provide VA disability compensation to Marines exposed to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune toxic water. Veterans disability compensation The Camp Lejeune Act of 2012 provides health care and health care funding assistance to Veterans and family water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. If you were stationed or employed at Camp Lejeune between August 1 st, 1953 and December 31 st 1987, chances are you were exposed to significant amount of pollution through the facility’s water supply. Exposure To Specific Environmental Hazards | Veterans Affairs Learn about VA disability compensation for illnesses related to environmental hazards. You know, when we’re talking about agent orange exposure, we’re talking about like, you know, 12 year period approximately, right? Three years later, in 1985, those Wells were finally shut down. From 1957 to 1987 U.S. service members and their families drank contaminated water at Camp Lejeune located in North Carolina. What Medical Criteria Are Needed to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits for COPD? This information is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need assistance with filing your claim or appealing a denial, don’t hesitate to give us a call. The same water was used for cooking, cleaning, and showering. Furthermore, as to case summaries, reports of past results, individual lawyer biographies, news posts and other information pertaining to past and present cases, these descriptions are meant only to provide information to the public about the activities and experience of our law firm. There is limited and suggestive evidence of an association between certain diseases and the chemical compounds found at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination. If you applied for disability compensation and have been denied, you must not give up. If a veteran served at Camp Lejeune (or MCAS New River) for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987, the VA will presumptively grant service-connection for the following disabilities: Adult leukemia It is important to note that qualifying members are not eligible to receive VA disability compensation for any conditions associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination. So, according to the agency for toxic substances and disease registry, for most of the months within that period which is a 34-year period, on-base water wells contain limits above the EPAs guidelines for all of those chemicals. The identified source of the contamination was poor waste disposal practices at an off-base dry cleaning company. E.g., did specific duties keep you in contact with the base’s water supply? Camp Lejeune. You would have to show the more traditional elements of direct service connection, which was in service and currents which would be the exposure to the water, the currently diagnosed disability, well the disability most easily currently diagnosed. Christian: Yeah, exactly. They actually had to have been there and they had to have been dependents at the time that they were there. Right? Christian: Because the toxic chemicals didn’t start causing Parkinson’s disease on March, whatever day 2017. The Camp Lejeune Act requires VA to provide health care to Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, and to reimburse family members, or pay providers, for medical expenses for those who resided there for not fewer than 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987. Christine: Exactly. And that would be enough to say to the VA, hey, I think this is related to this. And just notably, and importantly, Christine, you noted that there is an effective date, right? Christian: Exactly, you can’t do that just online. As well as the veteran to show that they were there during that period. Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune If you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River between August 1953 and December 1987, you may be at risk for certain illnesses believed to be caused by contaminants found in the drinking water during that time. VA published a final interim rule today regarding Camp Lejeune Water Contaminated Veterans, 82 FR 4173. Camp LeJeune and VA Benefits. So we’re going to turn to that now though. So what’s the specific Camp Lejeune presumptive policy? presented nationwide on disability law. Camp Lejuene Water Contamination. We may pay you back for your out-of-pocket health care costs that were related to any of these 15 conditions: Bladder cancer; Breast cancer; Esophageal cancer They do require that you have, that you talk about with the onset date. VA has made it a little bit easier for veterans that were at Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune veterans can file claims as directed on the VA website, which will request the following: These claims can be difficult to win. For additional history, see our past articles about the underlying issues of the Lejeune contamination, which lead to the 2016 proposed ruling at that time. So before we get into the law and all the conditions that are associated with what happened in Camp Lejeune, Lejeune, excuse me, it’s not the first time or the only time I’m going to do that. Photo courtesy of Mike Partain. Is Social Security Disability Back Pay Taxable? And they give you the option of mailing it or faxing it. From 1957 to 1987 U.S. service members and their families drank contaminated water at Camp Lejeune located in North Carolina. So you might have realized that some of the conditions for health benefits purposes for family members and some of the presumptive conditions are exactly the same. There was Trans-1,2 DCE and these are byproducts of the degrading chemicals of the TCE, PCE, and Benzene. Valid discharge for Veterans Benefits still required. Camp Lejeune Water Contamination & VA Disability Benefits. In other words, if you’re trying to get an effective date before that March 15, 2017, date when, when the law went into effect, you can use that as medical evidence of a nexus or of a link between exposure and development of these conditions. So you know, these conditions both, for medical benefits and for disability benefits. Camp LeJeune and VA Benefits. 5 Ways to Establish VA Service Connection – Video, VA Disability For Knee Conditions And Pain, Presumption of Service Connection Definition, Episode 48: Secondary Conditions to Tinnitus for VA Disability Benefits, Episode 22: VA Benefits for Spouses of Disabled Veterans, Episode 31: VA Disability Benefits & Diabetes, Episode 9: Court Rules VA Must Pay Retroactive Benefits to Blue Water Navy Veterans. Is that, is that–. From 1953 to 1987, water sources at the base were contaminated with industrial solvents that are correlated with certain health conditions. The VA took an average of 302 days to rule on the claims, denying 24 percent of the cases.”. Share this page via Email. This chemical exposure may have led to adverse health conditions. And you won’t be redirected for that one. It’s called, a 10-106 8B. So when they first came out, they gave 15 conditions. And I apologize, I’m gonna read them off a little bit. It’s an installation and there were, service members and, family members who were there. If your disability compensation claim was denied, call 800-544-9144 for a free case evaluation. And then, the other thing they require is a form. VA determined there was “sufficient scientific and medical evidence” to establish a connection between exposure to the contaminated water and eight medical conditions for purposes of awarding disability compensation. These members who lived on Camp Lejeune, meet the time-on-station and service date requirements, and have one of the covered conditions. You may be entitled to disability compensation if these military exposures resulted in a disease or injury. And certainly, this is only the tip of the iceberg. From August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, people living at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. Do You Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits? 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